According to Buster Olney of ESPN.com, the Cardinals have had “multiple discussions” about bringing back veteran reliever Octavio Dotel.
Dotel, 37, posted a 3.50 ERA and 62/17 K/BB ratio over 54 innings between the Cardinals and Blue Jays during the regular season. Of course, he was also an important part of Tony La Russa’s bullpen during the postseason, compiling a 2.61 ERA and 14/2 K/BB ratio over 10 1/3 innings.
The Cardinals declined Dotel’s $3.5 million option for 2012 last month, instead opting to pay a $750,000 buyout, but they remain interested in bringing him back at a lesser salary. Olney hears that the interest is mutual, though one imagines he would likely jump at the opportunity to close games somewhere.
No surprise here: Chris Sale will start on Opening Day for the Red Sox, Pete Abraham of The Boston Globe reports. The Red Sox open the season on March 29 in Tampa Bay against the Rays. Sale will oppose Chris Archer.
Sale, 28, is the fifth different Opening Day starter the Red Sox have had in as many years, preceded by Rick Porcello, David Price, Clay Buchholz, and Jon Lester. Sale started on Opening Day for the White Sox in 2013, ’14, and ’16.
Sale finished second in AL Cy Young Award balloting last year and finished ninth for AL MVP. He went 17-8 with a 2.90 ERA and a 308/43 K/BB ratio in 214 1/3 innings. Sale and Clayton Kershaw (2015) are the only pitchers to strike out 300 or more batters in a season dating back to 2003.